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Advice on antique wood burner in an unlined chimney

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by harry clelland, Mar 23, 2010.

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  1. harry clelland

    harry clelland New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    suffolk, UK
    My first post - what a great site. You will see in the photo the very old solid cast iron wood burner that we inherited with the French farmhouse we bought a year ago. It has a wide flue pipe (200mm 8inches) that goes into the chimney and there is a steel block off plate but no steel lining beyond the flue pipe. I think it would be difficult to fit a 200mm liner. The chimney itself is enormous about 8 feet square at the base, tapering up into the top floor which has recently been converted into bedrooms and we get a lot of warmth from the chimney breast when the fire is on. I had the chimney swept last autumn and the sweep assured me that everything was OK. Certainly the stove burns really well with a terrific draw from the chimney. So I am thinking: should I get rid of the old stove, get the chimnney lined and put in a modern more controllable stove with a 150mm flue. It seems a shame to do this as it is a lovely old fire and has been there for a very long time. Another question - there is no firebrick at all inside the stove. I thought it might be useful to part line it with vermiculite bricks to improve combustion.
    Any thoughts?

    Many thanks.

    Harry Clelland (Suffolk, UK)

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    If you can afford to, I would update the stove in a heart beat. The old franklin stove is not very efficient. I also don't think you'll see much results with adding firebrick, apart from creating a smaller firebox.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum Harry.

    You do have an old Franklin stove. They are okay for the looks but not much in the heating area. I can speak plain on this because one time we had a stove just like yours. It gave some heat, but not much and was not worth the price of the fuel for what heat we got. But just for something with a fire it was okay.

    I agree with Browning that putting firebrick in won't do much for the stove other than making the firebox smaller.

    If you want to heat your home, you will do much better with one of the newer stoves.

    Whichever way you go, if you intend on burning wood next winter, the wood should already be cut, split and in a stack where wind will hit so the wood will have time to dry. Please do yourself a favor by not doing like 99.9% of new wood burners do. They put in a new stove and then go looking for fuel. That works good with oil or gas but it just does not work when heating with wood. Wood needs time to dry. Also, 99% of all wood sellers will say the wood is seasoned and ready to burn. 99% of them are also wrong! So do get your wood on hand as soon as possible. Best to be 2-3 years ahead with wood.

    Good luck.
  4. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,132
    Loc:
    Nashoba Valley(ish), MA
    2nd try - thanks Google Chrome...

    Lots of things will go into your answer - how often you want to use the stove (and the house), availability of wood and cost of it in that area of France, your commitment to wood burning (it's a lot of effort).

    Occasional use to take the chill off - leave it

    Want to heat the house with it - more than a month of solid winter burning - rip it out - there are lots of great stoves that will accent the cottage nicely (say, for example, an ivory enamel Oslo :) )

    Welcome to the forum (from another UK expat)
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